We live in a part of the world where the topic of sex is… a bit taboo. Yet we know how much it impacts our relationships, our health, and our happiness.
So we have to talk about it folks. Gratefully, we are still safe: as it turns out, we don’t have to talk about the physical at all to talk about how to have healthier, happier, better sex.
“Say what??” You ask. Yes, you heard me: According to the research, physicality has almost nothing to do with great sex!
A study interviewing people across all demographic variables (age, education, cultural background, sexuality, gender, income, etc.) asked folks to talk about their greatest experiences in bed (..or not).
And consistently found these 8 universal components:
- being present, focused, embodied – free of distractions and able to keep attention on sensation.
- connection, alignment, merger and being in sync – essentially, “chemistry”- that electric feeling of being in tune with your partner.
- deep sexual and erotic intimacy – sharing mutual respect, acceptance, admiration, compassion, and trust
- extraordinary communication and heightened empathy – feeling free to take risks in sharing oneself mentally and emotionally; valuing taking responsibility in identifying what desires and sensitivities to convey to, and hearing the same from, your partner.
- interpersonal risk-taking, exploration and fun – a spirit of adventure and laughter as you discover more about yourself and your partner.
- authenticity, being genuine, uninhibited and transparency – you can say and be anything: selfish, impulsive, free of cares, emotionally uncontrolled, and unguarded. This lack of inhibition allows a partner to feel uninhibited as well.
- vulnerability and surrender – putting the control in your partner’s hands, taking the leap of faith to be uninhibited, communicative, and playful with your partner.
- transcendence, bliss, peace, transformation and healing – a feeling of expansiveness outside of body and mind
OK, so not about the physical.. but maybe we see why we choose to focus on that instead of what truly allows for great sex: mindset and interpersonal connection.
To create these elements, we have to feel safe, learn some other skill sets (communication, focus, relaxation) and broaden our definition of sexuality to recognize and embrace all the ways we create and experience pleasure.
So here are some wonderful resources to get on your way:
The excellent therapists at Revitalist: Jeff Cockerham specializing in couples, and Florence Paquet, specializing in sexual wellbeing and trauma.
Nonviolent Communication from Marshall Rosenberg – excellent book, but you can find this as a 5 hour audiobook for free on youtube right now!
Mating In Captivity by Esther Perel – again, you should get this book, but here are some notes to get you started:
Making Love Real by Danielle Harel and Celeste Hirshman
Now take a moment, what was your greatest experience? Why? What were you thinking about?